I continue to eat following the Autoimmune Protocol Diet laid out by Sarah Ballantyne, http://www.thepaleomom.com/ in her book "The Paleo Approach" http://victorybelt.com/the-paleo-approach-reverse-autoimmune-disease-heal-your-body/ (however, I continue to sprout and eat quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth for my vegetarian diet). My skin "seems" to be improving on this diet, and perhaps I am addressing any leaky gut issues I may have.
I have not changed my diet from month 1, except that when I added nuts back in, I also added in cashews (which I was not supposed to do ... oops ... did not pay enough attention to that printout). Sarah has linked her reintroduction process at her website http://www.thepaleomom.com/2015/02/reintroduction-quick-start-guide-new-free-download.html.
And how is the skin?
I lightly scrub my dermatitis with salt each night, followed by a light application of coal tar, Alva-Amco's Psoriasin http://www.alva-amco.com/products/psoriasin.
I use heavy duty moisturizer around and beneath my nose as that skin tends to get very dry. I have two tins in constant use: Badger Balm's "Sensitive Skin Moisturizer Unscented" http://www.badgerbalm.com/p-369-badger-balm-unscented.aspx or Out of Africa's "100% Pure Unrefined Shea Butter Unscented" http://www.outofafricashea.com/products/organic/tin3.html.
Following a bath and before bed, I apply a light moisturizer to my face. I'm currently using Logona Naturcosmetik "Moisture Cream Logona Free" http://www.logocos.us/logona/shop/product/1153-moisture-cream-logona-free. It is expensive to me at $28 per 1.7 oz tube, 2.5x what almond oil costs. However, my first tube has lasted over 3 months. I do not need much per application.
Autoimmune Disease and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic Dermatitis is often listed as an inflammatory condition, but few health care providers refer to it as an autoimmune disease. But it is often linked to an improperly functioning autoimmune system. Therefore, what is it?
Eh, doctor's cannot say. They do not know what causes it, how it develops, or what stops it. There's not a lot of medical research into Seborrheic Dermatitis. Which is kind of interesting, considering that several sites mention it affects 3% of the population (to compare, Healthline.com reports that 1% of the population is hospitalized yearly for heart disease).
Diet Changes and Rx
Doctors hesitate to recommend/prescribe diet changes. 1st, they do not have much basis in nutrition. 2nd, patients generally don't listen anyway and doctors feel it is a waste of their time.
And 3rd, doctors do not make much money recommending dietary changes. It is not a pill they can prescribe or blood numbers one can monitor.
In short, I've never had much to discuss with any medical professional when disease and diet are combined in a discussion.
How "Leaky Gut"causes problems, Autoimmune Disease, and Treatment
What is the basic understanding of leaky gut?
Your immune system responds to proteins. Exposure to foreign/unrecognized proteins kicks off the immune response - whether this be allergies, bacterial infection, or viral invasion.
Your immune system congregates in areas where the outside environment meets the inside - head, neck, groin ... and digestive system.
Foods kick off immune response -
The endothelial layer (digestive lining) is damaged (assumed to be due to modern life - stress and processed food stuffs) and allows partially undigested particles of food to
cross into the bloodstream when it normally would not.
Some of those partially undigested food particles are protein, which is recognized by the immune system as "foreign."
That protein exposure causes the immune system to kick into overdrive, which begins a vicious cycle - autoimmune disease.
How the AutoImmune Protocol addresses Autoimmune Diseases -
Reverse the leaky gut by eating soothing foods that allow the endothelial layer to heal, which arrests the autoimmune response by halting its exposure to partially digested protein particles.
Once the gut has healed, previously troublesome food can be reintroduced.
My Journey Continues
Am I seeing improvement? Yes.
Am I healed? Not yet.
I do not consider myself in remission, so I hesitate to add foods into my diet that might prolong my diseased state.
And yet, I miss many foods: lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas (I found an awesome chickpea cookie recipe just before this diet kicked off), corn (mostly tortilla chips, a processed food), tomatoes, and peppers. I do not miss potato chips much, good thing I love sweet potatoes. Taro chips are also an awesome potato chip substitute!